|Scene Title||Shaman King Pt 2|
|Synopsis||A competition that comes every couple of centuries has arrived. The first task is set, allies are found, rivals are made, a nickname is earned… Rainbow Brite|
Another note much like the first arrives at Maia's doorstep now that the gang are back in New York. The symbol upon it recognizable, the calligraphy quite perfect, the text this time pertaining to the first challenge and containing a time and a date as did the last one. Once more, to an office building in downtown New York. As before at the appointed time the door shimmers and warps, and once more it seems to lead someplace far different than one would expect. It's a rather rural landscape, what looks like an old stone temple just visible in the distance. Milling about is a small family reunion, other competitors making their own arrival, a certain distinctive look and movements all speaking of a common heritage.
Is the fanboy here? Hopefully not. Maia went and changed into her proper garb, the immaculately white shikifuku with it's rather long sleeves over her simple kimono. If she's going to spend time with possible half brothers and sisters, she should look the part of a traditional young Japanese woman afterall, right?
The trip to the office is uneventful. There were no Titanspawn attacks, which is a good thing. Still, she read as much as she could from the journal before arriving, and soon she looks around the old stone temple. She blinks a little, taking in the sights and sounds before she looks around for anyone whom might be recognizable. Mainly she's worried about the Shadow Princess and the Stone..or the Rock..or something like that.
The journal did make some reference to something about this place, although it references it as the second challenge that individual faced instead of the first. The author described five descending levels based upon the godai, wind being the topmost and descending down into fire at the very bottom, a race through corridors filled with challenges related or symbolic to each.
"The Rock" is not all that easy to miss, while he has the family features he is certainly the biggest one here. Broad shoulders, rippling muscles that Haldor might envy and a face that seems as much carved out of slabs of granite as born of man. A towering figure of the physical variety, impressive. The Shadow Princess is harder to make out at first glance, there are several half sisters among the competitors but none exactly radiate shadows although one does seem to have a good bit of that cold, icy, bitchy without saying a word demeanor that you tend to take as evil even if it is not. "All Competitors to the central hall. All Competitors to the central hall." calls out a balding fellow with a booming voice. Urging people to cross the field the short distance to the main entrance of the temple.
Ooooh. A race through the elements. This could be easy, though unlikely, or incredibly difficult, which is probably what it is. Maia hrmms for a few moments studying the Rock for a few moments, and making a mental note. She may have discovered a perfect workout and sparring partner for her beau! Huzzah!
Her gaze continues to scan through the various competitors until she finds one who might be the infamous Shadow Princess. She nsquints a little as she looks towards the other woman and sighs softly.
"I wish I had a cool nickname.." she muses to no one in particular before heading towards the central hall. She starts heading towards the temple and decides to make a friend, the Rock in this case.
"Hi!" she chirps merrily, flashing a toothy grin. Hopefully she doesnt get pummeled now.
'The Rock' does not in fact at once pummeling her, ponderously looking down at her. Bigger and stronger than Haldor he maybe is, as fast as he clearly is not. "Rainbow Brite?" he inquires, "I recognize your picture from the newsletter of the Challenges' #1 Super Fan Fuskao. You seem as cheerful as he described you. Are you as mystified by this whole thing as I am?" Well.. it seems she does have a nickname after all. Oh dear. He seems nice at least.
Eventually they do make their way into a large chamber at the front of the temple, columns adorned with elemental symbols. "Welcome.. welcome.." calls out a woman in a robe adorned with that now familiar crest, "Normally we would allow more time to socialize but we know that many of you are busy with recent.. problems.. as such we will be moving this along as quickly as possible. In today's challenge you will not be in direct competition, any who finish within the allotted time limit will proceed to the next round. You are expected to make your way down through the five levels of the temple to the sixth, along the way you will face no shortage of obstacles."
Rainbow Brite? She's Rainbow Brite? She probably would've prefered Gene's nickname in this case. Glowbug at least sounds cooler. Still, Maia doesnt let it bother her..much. Clearly she will have to have Haldor beatup the #1 Super Fan Fuskao. She lets out a soft chuckle under her breath. She can take it in stride, right? "Yeah..this whole thing boggles the mind really. Still, it's interesting. So I guess we're half-siblings..you heard anything about mom?" just wanting to see if he knows anything.
"Where are you from? How were you found?" she asks curiously, wanting to actually learn about him. He seems pleasant and it's always good to make contacts and new friends afterall. She has to live up to her Rainbow Brite moniker afterall.
Once they're inside, she goes quiet as she peers towards the woman in the robe with the onmyouji symbol. She nods and takes a deepbreath as she hrmms for a few moments, just making mental notes the entire time.
'The Rock' is not without some empathy it seems, casually responding back to her in that gravelly voice, "I was Granite Head at first. I think he meant it as a compliment of how resilient I was. #1 Super Fan Fusako has a great deal of excitement and very little judgment. He has a great fondness for okonomiyaki." Is he hinting he bribed a name change? Maybe! "I have heard nothing new about our mother, but there was talk I might be needed in Takamagahara though I do not know why." He is about to answer more but then the speechmaking does indeed happen, time for biography exchanging later!
"So without further ado" says the competition rep, "Make your way down the hall to one of the doors marked one, two or three."
"Thanks.." she says softly, feeling a lot better at the hint. Bah, she's going to have to bribe the superfan, but oh well, if she can get Rainbow Brite changed, who knows? It might be worth it. "And it's Maia.." she whispers softly, prefering to use her real name in lieu of ridiculous nicknames.
And at the choice, she hrmms for a few moments, stagewhispering to The Rock. "I wonder which one has the goat.." she says with a soft and impish chuckle under her breath. She giggles impishly as she hrmms and goes for #1, for sheis going to be #1, right? Or something like that.
#1 seems a popular choice, most of the people lining up before either it or door #2. #1 for it's competition, #2 for being straight ahead. 'The Rock' selects her door as well, deciding to stay near the friendly Rainbow Brite cum Maia, "I like The Rock" he rumbles back, "But it is nice to meet you Maia."
FFurther talk is curtailed by all the doors swinging open to reveal halls beyond. Wind whistles along them, leaves and small debris blowing about in the air but certainly not enough to qualify as a hazard. Everyone rushes forward to the first intersection. Maia is pretty dang fast on her own, if she chooses to stick with the Rock though she'll be trailing the pack. Fast he is not. The intersection has three corridors branching from one, one shows a chasm in the distance, another seems to terminate in a large pile of debris, yet another gives way to shadowy darkness. Hrm. Ice cold bitchy girl from before happens to have been in her ground, she rushes down the dark hall without a second thought.
Bah! Choices choices! She wants to help her new friend, who he seems a pleasant enough fellow and contacts and allies are always a good thing. Maia smiles cheerily back towards the Rock andhrmms for a few moments, hrmming for a few moments. "Which path are you taking?" she asks curiously, looking towards the chasm and then the large pile of debris. If he's the Rock, he has to have some ability with the Earth, right? And perhaps that can prove to be an advantage.
"You up for helping each other to get to the finish line in time?" she asks curiously. It's not cheating! Surely it isnt. No one said you couldnt team up.
"Yes" rumbles The Rock as he ponderously turns to look this way and that and picks the debris pile, turning to move in that direction. Ahead of them the other contestants seem to be putting their own respective versions of Holy Bound to good use. Leaping from piece of rubble to the next and slowly making their way up and over the obstacle that has presented. Taking to the air to get past their problems. Rock for his part plows large hands into the structure and slowly pulls them apart, debris warping and reshaping around them as he molds a hole in the dirt. It's not all that fast. By the time they are through the front of the group is well out of sight, although from somewhere down the hall before them comes the sound of a girlish scream and the thick heavy thud of a body hitting a wall.
Her instincts proved to be right! Perhaps he'd be a valuable ally in the end, especially if they end up in Tamagahara together! Maia watches as the debris starts to warp and mold and she starts running waiting for him as well until shehears the scream and the thud of a body. "Oh geeez.." she says softly, chewing on her bottom lip. "We should go and help them!" Just like her namesake, she is all about helping people! And so she motions for him to follow..hopefully they make it in time so there's no death. That's not what she wants in this afterall..
"Go ahead then" rumbles The Rock. "You'll move faster without me. If we get separated I'll hope to meet back with you further on." Should Maia rush on ahead, or take her time for that matter. She eventually come to another four way intersection. The north and south passages are filled with a powerful gusting wind, coming from the former and heading towards the later. It must get rather strong at points, streaks of blood upon the stones hinting that someone was effectively picked up by it and dragged along as they were gusted down the southern passage. Of course, if she heads straight ahead the stairs down to the next level can be seen. Assuming she were both selfish and agile enough to get through the passage, of course.
"No..I'm not going to leave you behind.." she doesnt do that with friends, or at least people whom she'd like to be friends with. "We're going to finish this together and within the time limit.." she says firmly and resolutely. So she'll wait until he catches up towards the wind, the powerful gusting wind at that. She pats herself down and finds paper. Lots of paper. She looks back towards the debris, hoping there was lots of paper there. If there's enough she's going to have a bit of fun.
The emerald magatama on her ring starts to glow as she mutters a soft incantation under her breath. She tosses the paper into the air, and it looks like they're going to be flying away for a bit, but alas, they dont. The paper simply follows her mental command gathering up a lot until there's a giant paper airplane that can hopefully take both her weight and the Rock's. "You up for a bit of flying?" she asks with a wry grin curling onto her lips. She's smart, surely she can adjust the paper to safely navigate the strong gusting winds so they won't die..right?
There is indeed ample paper. Likely added by the contest itself simply to help the contestants see the airflows, as there seems to be an abnormal quantity of it for your typical abandoned temple deathtrap place. So the airplane gets constructed, Rock tagging along and he takes his place in the middle of the thing where his weight is likely to prove the least inconvenience. Maybe. Physics is not the Rocks thing. "Let's do it. Blood looks like it goes that way" he offers looking southwards. She is indeed smart enough to figure out the airflows, even to adjust for the Rock's impressive weight in the plane. The gusting winds in the hall really are strong though, tornado strength winds whistling around them. Barely missing one column they dart to the side barely missing another. Ahead, the passage comes to a sudden end with a large hole in the floor presenting a sudden drop to the next level. A lake of water visible. Oh dear. That wouldn't do the paper airplane any good.
Under normal circumstances water wouldnt do a paper airplane any good, but this is all assuming that it's just going to be a regular airplane and said airplane wasnt controlled by someone who had water as her bitch. Yes, her bitch. A wry grin curls ontoher lips. Yes, the Rock had his moments earlier with the debris, but when it comes to wind and water, this is where she can do it.
The paper airplane starts to change form with but a simple incantation under her breath. She seems to have this onmyouji-in-training and demigoddess under control and soon, the plane turns into a boat! Or at least she's turning it into a boat, water proofing it by combining her abilities at the same time. It's tough, but someone's gotta do it.
If the paper boat lands, she mutters another incantation, pleading to the spirits of the water to push the boat quickly. She needs them to win afterall, and this little adventure is turning out to be quite a blast. She checks on the Rock. "You okay so far?" she asks curiously, just trying to follow the trail of blood, even in the water…
She manages to transform the plane to a boat in time because paper and water are indeed her bitches. The water blow stirs with invisible currents, a makeshift beach of pebbles and jagged rock lines the sides of the room and upon one is washed up one of the young women she saw from earlier but never got a name for. She is not looking the best. Hands and knees are a bloody mess from earlier efforts to stop her process down the hall, a good half of the skin of her face looks to have been torn away by gusting down the floor. It might be all fun for Maia, but clearly there are dangers to being a front runner and bumping into the surprises before anyone else. The girl lives though, and probably will even if she does nothing. Still, she looks in one hell of a lot of pain and healing would take time.. precious precious time. The Rock is looking a little sick to his stomach with all the aerial acrobatics and boattime zipping about, still he queasily gives her two thumbs up.
Maia read too many Spiderman comics when she was younger. Her father was a full onmyouji and he taught her to always help people out. It was the way of Abe no Seimei, and it's the way of Tsuchimikado Maia. Hopefully they were ahead of all the tricks she was able to pull out of her ass, right?
She looks towards the Rock and smiles warmly. "Go on ahead..I'll catch up, but I have to help her.." she says, wincing a little as she runs towards the unfamiliar face. "What happened? Are you okay?" she says with genuine concern for her competition. The descriptinos of blood and gore were too much perhaps, and well, if she can prevent people from dying, or at least give people somehelp when they need it, she will. It's her nature afterall.
"Here…just take a deep breath..it might sting a little.." she says softly, the diamond magatama on her ring starting to glow as she works her mojo..to the point that the woman isnt all melty with her face torn off. It doesnt bode well for a possible future goddess of health and beauty toleave someone ugly afterall. It's just wrong.
"Uh…" rumbles The Rock, "While I know the hazards of reading too much into a name. I think on my own I'd sink like a rock. You help her. I'll see if I can't open a passage straight down to the next level. Maybe we can skip what they have planned for us." It's.. a time consuming process. It really is. His hands thunderously plowing into the dirt and his powerful forearms rippling with the effort as he slowly works to form a passage straight through the makeshift beach into whatever might await them on the next level down.
The woman for her part whimpers in pain, almost curling up into herself and letting out another piercing cry even as she is still healed. Damaged flesh knitting itself back together. "I was going for the stairs.. timing the gusts.. I think someone pushed me into the flow" the woman says softly as she tries to put herself back together, "I'm Mitoki. Thank you."
That is not good. Maia winces a little at what happened and wrinkles her nose a little before she tries to reassure the other woman with a bright and cheery smile. "Well, we're here now and I'll try to fix you up.." and fix her up she's doing! "I didnt think people would get so competitive right away.." she says softly before bowing her head once more. "And I'm Maia..and that's..the Rock.." motioning towards the rather large one with her lips before checking to see how he's doing.
"I..I'm sorry about this..she needed help.." she says softly, smiling sheepishly towards the large companion. Hopefully his abilities allow them to fall into the next level though…she's kind of sacrificing valuable time by fixing up Motoki.
The Rock is.. making progress. Maybe a bit too much progress. With a savage cry and the sound of rending stone the floor suddenly splits apart where he is working at it. Explosives shards of rock and debris peppering down the air. More troubling is that the size of the hole seems to be more than he intended, and instead of confining itself to the beach the waters of the makeshift lake are now rapidly pouring down into the level below. Oops.
Mitoki whispers, "Neither did I. It's more than I wanted. Thank you for your help but go on without me. I do not want to continue in this cruel contest. I do not wish to face such pain again."
"Take care.." Maia tells Mitok, wincing a little before the floor suddenly opens up. "Go! Try to get out of here!" she cries out before letting out a half excited yelp as she rushes down towards the hole as well, cause that's where the Rock went as well. She's cut up and bruised from the shards and shrapnel of rock, and she points her hands up towards the air, commanding the water to not fall, even to the point of defying gravity itself! At least, she's trying anyway asshe wrinkles her nose. Damnit, if she could only make it ice..
"Uh..Rock..where are we?" she asks curiously after jumping down. She's too focused on trying to keep the water up afterall..
CRASH! They are suddenly falling into another hallway. The Rock reaches out his arms to catch Maia as she falls after him. Long and straight and narrow and without any evident side niches, nooks, or anything that one might hope for. The reason they might hope for such things is visible at one end of the corridor, the giant stone sphere done in an Indiana Jones style rolling ponderously in their direction. Slow and ponderous he might be but the Rock takes off running the other direction, "Got anything to stop that?"
When did they go from Run Lola Run to Indiana Jones?
Maia oomphs as she falls and is caught in the muscley rippling arms of the Rock. Seriously, if they werent half-siblings and if she wasnt in love with a red headed Viking Thorson, she might have to tap that. But alas, get those thoughts out of her head. There is a giant rolling ball of doom coming their way. She blinks a little and wrinkles her nose.
"You're the Rock, shouldnt this be your specialty?" she asks curiously as the gears in her head are turning, though she's got to think fast. "Keep on running, I need time to concentrate..maybe we can wake up it's spirit and ask it polite to stop?"
It's the level of earth! Obviously they wandered right into the middle of an earthy hazard. The Rock is indeed all rippled muscley potent goodness, and Japanese to boot! Which perhaps disqualifies him from Maia's normal considerations. "I could phase right through it" The Rock rumbles, "You can't. Let me try something else." He carefully sets her down before turning and moving a few steps forward towards the oncoming boulder. Powerful arms crossing over his chest he calls out, "Spirits of the Earth! Heed my call! Special Granite Form Technique!" Ripples spread out over his form, those powerful muscles already so like slabs of stone given life suddenly are slabs of stone. A living statue, potent and powerful and preparing to go one on one with his rock counterpart as he rushes now on it's direction. When they collide there is the crashing sound of stone upon stone, a thick cloud of dirt and debris suddenly rushing through the corridor. Impressive.
Echoing through the tunnels comes an announcement, "Time is nearly up. All competitors are urged to head to the final level as quickly as possible."
Oh snap! Time is nearly up. She's gotta think and think fast. Still, her eyes widen as she watches him suddenly become rocky, cause well, that's really cool. Really really cool. Maia acks a little as she covers her eyes with her arms, trying to get out of the way and crouches, as she calls out. "Hey! Can you control the earth all ya know..like Iceman or something..except Earthman?" Yeah, that sounded stupid, but if she can combine her abilities over water with the rocky..and OMG! It just hits her.
"Mud! We can make mud move!" she cries out, letting the water from the ceiling fall. Hopefully their combined abilities can make them reach the finish line in time. Woosh.
'The Rock' bangs his forearms together at her suggestion, the miscellaneous debris, gravel, sand and what have you of this level beginning to stir into life around the pair forming a small torrent around their feet. Not quite mud on it's own, of course. Still further down the hall, where they first entered, there is that hole in the ceiling, the water pouring down from the lake above in a makeshift waterfall. His half of the muddy theatrics is done, if Maia will just add water..
"We're going to be really gross afterwards.." she warns as she starts moving her arms, directing the water towards the dirt, hoping to swirl it together to make a wave to push the towards of them towards the finish line. Come on..it has to work. Go Children of Amaterasu elemental teamwork!
'The Rock' lets that earthen form slip, because as a very very heavy statue he's not exactly going anywhere in a hurry. Zip they go! Mud is mud, and it is indeed possible to push them along the earthen halls by just this approach. Not that it is gentle, larger chunks of debris smattering the pair as they zip as slippery high speeds through the halls eventually terminating in a pair of stairs leading down. Oof oof oof as they go down, mud still serving them in good steed as a means of progress. The next level is linked to the element of fire, however, and suddenly looming straight ahead of them is a large pit of hot coals. A pit of hot coals they are zooming for very very quickly.
Think! Think! Her eyes widen as she lets out a soft chuckle under her breath. "Hot coals are nothing. They're bad conductors of heat, that's how all those people just walk over it, we just need to make sure we zip over it, but remember, we have some water still!" Maia has this in the bag. At least she's thinking she has this in the bag anyway as the starts drawing the water out from the mud, the blue magatama on her ring glowing intensely this time. It's taking all her concentration at this point and she tries to make a wave of water cover the coals. She knows he can't move that fast, so hopefully cooling it down a bit (with a bit of mist) should hopefully make things a bit more bareable.
The efforts to shift the water from the mud to the coals is working, a cloud of steam rising from the contact along with a gentle hiss. Of course, this also rather stops the mud from being mud and halfway across the field they suddenly come to a standstill. Fortunately! Cool coals are not much of a hazard, 'The Rock' rises back to his feet and begins to rush towards the nearest exit. As fast as he can rush at least. Gouts of flame suddenly bursting from the floor are silenced with another clap of those massive forearms, earth sealing over the jets the flames are released from. He is useful to have around! Even if kind of pokey. Before them then another stairway down, and at the bottom another hall. Here the floor arcs with electricity, lightning tracing circuits carved and designed into it. An elemental challenge to get past? An intricate puzzle of circuits and flows to be solved? Both? Either?
And that voice again sounds resounds through the halls, "Two minutes remaining."
"Hey..I could deal with the water and the wind, but it was because of everything I had. Earth is a terrible conduit of electricity..can you shield the both of us from the arcs?" she asks curiously, her brows furrowed as she looks through the various arcs of electricity. She hrmms for a few moments, looking at the pattern for a few moments as she chews on her bottom lip. "Can you grab some coal and wrap it around the both of us, it'll take too long for me to figure out the pattern.."
"No' The Rock answers staring down at the field of pulsing currents, "Not in time. But I have another idea. Help to heal me, if you can. This will be rough." He physically lifts Maia up to place her on one shoulder, because.. he is really big and strong like that. A stomp of a foot and suddenly the metal conduits of electricity in the floor begin to rapidly rust, shorts and failures suddenly appearing and he simply takes off at a run across what is left. Most of the current is stopped, but not all. Arcing jolts of electricity occasionally sparking up his legs as he moves. Those powerful muscles jerking spastically under the impulses. Stumbling as much as running now towards the final set of stairs just visible in the distance. Around the pair, the final countdown occurring.
Oh wow! It's a practical applications of Rust/Shine! A wry grin curls onto her lips as the diamond magatama starts to glow brightly as she fixes up the Rock, making sure the cracks go away. haha, she's trying to be punny. Still, she does her best trying to bring him to full health and even more before she hops up onto his shoulders. "All right! Let's do this!" she chirps merrily.
The Rock does it, those thundering mammoth strides thundering in the corridors as he ignores any injuries inflicted to at last make it those stairs. Starting down them. Suddenly around the pair there is a brilliant flare of light, a blinding white pulse that overloads all the senses for a moment and.. when Maia can see again she is no longer within that elemental temple but is rather alone, back in the New York office building where she started this little sojourn. At her feet is a chest and key. A terribly familiar looking chest, given she has seen and possess it's twin. They must have made it in time.
she's huffy. She's puffy. But she's no P.Diddy. Maia is tired and singed and wet and dusty and rocky. "That. Was. Intense.." she hears the barkbarkyelpbark of Drake in the room who squirms out and starts running around her with the chest and the key.
"Hey!" she chirps merrily, picking up the puppy, cuddling close before she takes the key and opens the chest. Hopefully nothing tries to eat her..
Nothing tries to eat her! Within the chest is simply contained a garment much like the one she has already seen in that other chest, white with the red symbol upon one breast. It would seem she is probably expected to dress up for the next challenge. Whenever that happens to be.
Rupert has disconnected.
"Ooooh pretty! Now it's time to shower and cuddle.." she chirps merrily, wrinkling her nose as she sets Drake down, still snuffling and shuffling about. "Haaaaaaldor!" she giggles, heading into the bedroom. Rawr.